The Valley of Despair

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About the author

Chris L Adams

I was raised on an 80 acre horse farm in what I affectionately refer to as BFE, which is shorthand for Rock, WV :0

The Farm as my family refers to it is neat, being surrounded almost entirely by the Bluestone River, in the shape of a giant horse shoe, if the horse shoe were bent and mangled and distorted a bit.  The only place it is connected to 'dry land' so to speak is a railroad tunnel built in 1914 running through the narrow stretch of land that isn't under the river.  So gads, I know my mom feared for my life while I was growing up, as this place is surrounded by a river, it has cliffs, wooded trails, wild life, the railroad tunnel, you name it.

I would scale cliffs, pole down the river in a flat bottom boat like Huck Finn, and me and my buddies played war with an arsenal of BB guns.  I've heated up many a derriere with my trusty Red Ryder, and had the favor returned tenfold.  Where we lived they didn't have cable, and my folks wouldn't pay for satellite, so I ran the woods and cliffs, rode horses, climbed trees, waded, etc until dark, then I would read.

I read a lot.  I read everything I could get my hands on, from classics, romances, you name it.  Then I discovered Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, in short - I fell in love with a bunch of authors who were mostly dead years before I was born.  I knew after I read what was out there, there would be no more.

Some of their works are obscure, and I've thoroughly enjoyed every volume I've ever stumbled on or run to ground.  I love collecting old paperback reprints of these guys—  Oh yeah, there's Edmond Hamilton, A. Merritt, the entire Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series (which I've yet to complete).  There are others, Philip M. Fisher, Lester del Rey, the list goes on.  These are the guys who drive the type of writing I'm attracted to emulate.  You'll find their influence heavily in everything I write, whether it's a short macabre piece, or a fisticuffs, or any other form of arm chair adventure you care to mention - they're there.  Tarzan, Conan, Randolph Carter, they're all there...